Weekly Challenge for 4-29-13
Monday again (*sigh*), but that means it’s time for another belly dance challenge! Yay!
Hips on the down
This is often a challenging move for belly dancers, but it is also one of the signature belly dance movements! So let’s do some practice!
Beginner: This will be a tough movement, but don’t despair. It just takes practice, so that’s what we’re going to do this week! First, let’s talk about the difference between a hip drop and a hip on the down. Hip drops (in my dance vocabulary) are when the body is at an angle, showing off the hip that is being lifted and dropped in time to the beat of the drum. A kick is often added (as in our previous challenge, the hip drop kick!), and the weight is in the supporting leg. A hip on the down is when the hip goes downwards (and slightly outwards), like a hip bump, just down instead of up/out, with the weight even on both feet. Whew! It’s hard when there are so many similar things to do with your hips, but they really are different! If your teacher hasn’t shown you this, ask her/him about it! Your challenge is to practice this movement for TWO SONGS every day this week!
- Don’t shift your weight. You do not want to rock from side to side. Keep the feet planted, your weight even on both feet.
- Use your glutes! Help tone the glute muscles by clenching the glute on the opposite side (a hip going down to the right gets a glute clench on the left).
Intermediate: You probably know this movement well, but we’re going to up the difficulty! One fun movement is a hip on the down while walking. When I first learned this, I was told it is called the Sohair Zaki walk, since she is well known for doing this movement. The reason you must learn to do hips on the down without rocking from side to side is that it would be very difficult to walk gracefully while shifting the weight from foot to foot AND working the hips. For this movement, keep your weight lifted and centered over both feet, try to do it on releve (trust me), and really use those glutes! Practice for one song this week! One step = one hip down on the same side.
Advanced: We’re going to make this into a three-quarter hip on the down (not a shimmy!) And then take a walk AND layer! Make sure your hips are even, actually three-quarter (keep that pause in there!), pay attention to those feet (the walk should still look nice), and layer something smooth on top. A chest circle might be the best choice, but try out snake arms, chest figure 8s, or whatever your favorite smooth move is! Check yourself in the mirror to make sure this movement still looks good, and practice for one whole song every day this week! Change it up, too!